Visiting Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested the idea of trying to apply a Syria-style ceasefire to the ongoing Saudi war in Yemen, as a possible way to explore the possibility of a political settlement of the conflict.
Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen in March of last year, vowing to reinstall President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who resigned in January. The war was expected to be a quick one, but has become far bloodier than anyone expected, and with no end in sight.
Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir’s comments suggested the proposal is not being taken seriously, saying they would condition it on the Houthis accepting the “common understandings reached before the Houthi capture of Sanaa,” in essence, that Hadi is president and capable of extending his two-year term indefinitely.
On the other hand, the Saudis and the Shi’ite Houthis did reach a ceasefire limited to the border area last month, in a deal that involved no apparent international coaxing, suggesting there may be some appetite for limiting the scope of the war.